Is great trading a learned skill or an innate ability?
If this sounds like a question that could be at the heart of a movie, that's because it was. In Trading Places, two brothers that ran a commodities trading firm made a $1 bet on whether they could simultaneously turn a scam artist and criminal into a successful trader and a successful trader into a criminal. (If you haven't watched it, you should!)
But the question of whether great traders are born or made was also the subject of a real-life experiment by Richard Dennis, a Chicago trading legend, and his partner, William Eckhardt.
Dennis - who had made hundreds of millions trading - believed that great trading was a result of a disciplined approach; a trader just needed to be taught rules and given risk management parameters. Eckhardt believed that traders like Dennis had an innate ability and underlying talent that allowed them to be successful.
In the end, Dennis was proven right - and he added $150 million to his firm's bankroll in the process. Here's how.